Samsung boss Lee Jae-yong becomes South Korea’s richest person

Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Jae-yong has topped Forbes’ list of South Korea’s wealthiest people for the first time in his life. Lee’s net worth is KRW 15.81 trillion ($11.5 billion), which has recently risen by $3.5 billion.

Lee Jae-yong becomes South Korea’s richest person for the first time

The increase in Lee Jae-yong’s net worth is attributed to the company’s recent stock price surge. Recently, Samsung’s semiconductor chip bagged a crucial order from Nvidia for HBM (High-Bandwidth Memory) chips used for AI processing. Samsung Electronics had a bad year in 2023, with its profits tumbling by more than 95%. However, things have improved since the first quarter of 2024.

Kim Byung-ju, chairman of MBK Partners, ranked first in the list last year. However, this year, he ranked second with a net worth of $9.7 billion. Seo Jung-jin, chairman of Celltrion, ranked third with assets worth $7.5 billion. Cho Jung-ho, chairman of Meritz Financial Group, ranked fourth with a net worth of around $6.2 billion. Hyundai Motor Group’s chairman, Chung Mong-koo, ranked fifth with assets of around $4.6 billion.

Lee became Samsung Electronics’ chairman four years after the death of his father, Lee Kun-hee. Lee Kun-hee has been South Korea’s richest person every year since 2005 when Forbes started ranking the country’s wealthiest people.

Lee Jae-yong was arrested and jailed several times after being accused of financial fraud in the Cheil Industries-Samsung C&T merger case. He was released from jail after being pardoned by the President of South Korea. A few months ago, he was acquitted of the allegations after no proof was found against him.

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